Paige Taylor is two years away from graduating high school and she already has one book published with two more on the way.
Her book, Secrets Wrought in Blood, was recently published and her school, Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School (BMLSS), held a book signing on Jan. 18 to celebrate. Taylor says it’s the first of three books in the Blood Blade trilogy. She says the second is being edited while the third is almost halfway done.
“It has that medieval, fantasy type of feel with different kingdoms, creatives, elves, dwarves, and things like that,” explains Taylor. She says the books were inspired by the Lord of the Rings movies. “I was actually watching The Hobbit and there was a scene and I thought ‘oh, I wonder what would happen if this was different,'” she says.
After that, Taylor says she got to work creating her own characters with interesting backstories “It evolved from there into my story,” she says. Between finishing her homework, Taylor says she would draw maps of the kingdoms and think up background characters that help highlight the main ones.
“Thalia Valiekka, a young elf living in the hillside kingdom of Lsthrain, embarks on a journey with Killian Witherion, her childhood best friend and prince of Lsthrain, to track a troll that was spotted scouting their borders,” a description of the book reads on Taylor’s website. “Yet what they discover is far more disturbing than a mere beast prowling their kingdom.”
“I’m a big fantasy reader and movie watcher,” says Taylor.
She explains she started writing the books because of the downtime she had thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. “There was a lot of free time, especially when assignments were done early,” says Taylor. She spent time once her work was done, during lunch breaks, and an hour or two after school writing the books.
“We’re very proud,” says Tanya Fraser, principal at BMLSS. “We’re right here celebrating her and celebrating her with this great accomplishment.”
Taylor explains she likes to draw inspiration from other novels and movies to help build her stories. As she’s writing the first draft, she says she takes notes to make sure she keeps the story on track and hits on the major plot points. “I’ll see in between those plot points where it takes me,” she continues.
Like any parents, Taylor says hers were supportive. “I think they were quite surprised,” she adds but says she wrote tonnes of short stories growing up, so it wasn’t a total shock when she told them she wanted to write a novel.
Taylor says her current goal is to go to culinary school. However, she quickly says she hasn’t decided yet and has “a few other ideas.” What she knows for sure is that she wants to continue writing.
“I think these characters will have just this trilogy with this plotline,” says Taylor. In later books, she explains new characters will be brought in.
She says money from the book, which can be bought online through her website or at Novel Idea in Kingston, Ont., at Muskoka Surf and Turf in Gravenhurst., and Unique Muskoka in Bracebridge, will be set aside for her schooling after graduating high school. However, Taylor says she wants to use some of it to help get future books published as well.